4 Things Tag

Au Soleil, Digital - © R.Koleilat, 2007

Debi! Do I blame you, Bobbie or Frances for this? But since I am so darn flattered you still remember who I am (and even better, you still LIKE me), I won't blame you. I love Bobbie beyond words, so I won't blame her. Guess who's left? Hehehe....
  • Name four places you have lived: Beirut, Austin, Oklahoma City, Winnipeg
  • Four foods you like: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Midnight Snack
  • Four places you have been on vacation: Côte d'Azur, Florida Keys, Romania, Muskoka
  • Four places you would rather be: cuddling with my kids, hugging my mom, talking with my sister, at the beach.


We Can Do It Together/Ensemble, on peut tout changer

Thanks to Jin for turning us on to this very worthy cause, and to Neda
for coming up with this terrific challenge -
Merci, Jin et Neda
Time to get those creativity muscles in gear, folks.
This challenge (this time I am calling it a challenge) is in honour of BLOG ACTION DAY, which will take place on October 15.
This time, I am not giving you a specific image to work off of, nor am I asking you to practice your digital image manipulation skills. You can if you want to, but you don't have to stick to that one venue.
The rules are simple for this Action Day Challenge:
  • Come up with an image to promote the environmental cause of your choice.
  • Write one line of text to accompany your image.
  • Any artistic medium can be used: you can do a painting, a collage, a photomontage, anything that you feel comfortable with. These are only suggestions, not guidelines.
  • Submit only ONE entry please. Seriously, I mean it this time. Here's why:
  • Once an entry is received, it will be displayed on the home page of Maraya Galleries, in a slide window. (This is a lot of work to set up, and I want to be able to do it before the 15th of October, so have a heart, people, send me your best one, don't ask me to choose for you - this one will be for all to see, not just the blog readers)

What are you still waiting here for? Go on, gather your materials and your best ideas and get going with this - you only have 17 days left and counting. Oh, and remember to tell your friends about this too - bloggers and non-bloggers, young and old, everyone is welcome.


Time Well Wasted

I made this handsome demotivational poster at www.despair.com
(bird pic from wetcanvas.com)
You can create your own too, just follow the links!

Andi had a post about this hilarious website, a geeky and witty take on the ubiquitous, mediocre, and gag-inducing motivational industry posters and cards.

Since I am at the bottom of my creative cycle (meaning my mind is an abysmal blank), I think it's only fair to share these fun sites with you. After all, it's right there in my header, the bit about "fun finds" - so why should I be the only one here spending endless hou.., uh, minutes playing online?
So, in no particular order of preference (all games are free if you play online):
  • MSN Games has a new version of Scrabble here
  • Speaking of Scrabble, a legitimate cheating tool is available on the official website here
  • My all-time favourite time-waster is Alchemy (here)
  • Of course, it would be unforgivable not to mention the grande dame of all dilatory games: Bejeweled2, equally favoured by 7 and 47-year olds (or 48) in this household
  • Finally, since this is supposed to be mostly an arts-oriented blog, and since the original Miltos Manetas create-your-own-Pollock page doesn't seem to be functioning, here's another smaller scale one created by an artsy blogger here

Have fun, folks - and if you have any suggestions for wasting even more valuable minutes with silliness online, by all means, don't be selfish, share with the rest of us procrastinators.


Darn, I'm stumped

Gossip, Greed, Envy, Bigotry (Mixed Media) - ©R.Koleilat, 2007
I promised myself that I wouldn't post anything that's unfinished - but I'm stumped with this. Oh, well, I could always pretend this is a demonstration of some technique in progress... yeah, that's the ticket...
Anyway, I'm still trying to play around with image transfers using an acrylic medium. I started with the image transfer on a small canvas panel (4"x5"), then started experimenting with various tools.
I used my battery-operated eraser (love that one, I've had it since university) to take away further layers of paper and leaving only the faintest outline of the image. Unfortunately, I did this after I had covered the body in black, resulting in very uneven layers to wok over.
Because of the textured surface, laying in a wash didn't really work (background mostly), so I tried markers instead (black body, hair, contour, face and accent highlights).
Still, I needed to find something more interesting, texture-wise: the canvas is pre-primed, and some of the marker ink will just sit there.
I used a little bit of acrylic paint (mostly the flesh tones), but I get frustrated with acrylic on such a small surface. So out came the oil pastels. And here we are - I did all I could with this concept, and it's turning out to be just that: a concept that didn't translate very well. Heeelllppp!
Suggestions? Please?


Lift Up Someone's Spirits Today

This is my friend and niece-in-law Hala, she of the scrumptious edible artwork (read about her here). She's in hospital this week - again - and as you can tell from the bandana, although the head gear is very becoming, this is no walk in the park for her.

So this is my request, dear gang of photoshoppers and others, can you help me cheer my friend up?

Use this portrait below to create something fun and send it along or display it and let me or her know about it. This is her blog: http://hala2.blogspot.com/


Sticky Fun With Gel Transfers

Image transfers using an acrylic medium as a base is one of those artsy-craftsy things I had some vague notions about, but never actually tried to do. Until I found a great gel medium made by a canadian company called Tri-art which said right there on the label that this product is perfect for photocopy transfers and so I decided to give it a try. Only I didn't use a photocopy, and didn't exactly follow the directions.

This is what I did - I cut out a coloured photograph out of an old magazine, to fit the size of a piece of white cardboard I had laying around. Using my fingers, I covered the cardboard in what I thought was a thin layer of the gel. I must have put too much gel, because as you can see in the bottom left corner of Image 1, the magazine paper fell apart as I was trying to smooth the surface out.

1. Glued-on image with parts rubbed out.

I put the image face down - of course - on the cardboard, so that the gel medium can bond to the ink and transfer the image on to the cardboard.
Once dry - a couple of hours later, I used a bit of water to rub out the paper off of the cardboard.

Once all the paper was rubbed out, I wiped the uncovered image with a dry cloth to take away traces of pulp and moisture, and came up with a really good image transfer - a lot better than I expected.

2. Transferred Image

Except of course, for the part where there was too much gel pooled under the image that I couldn't save.

I waited a little more for the thing to dry, but I think I should have been a little more patient and waited a few hours before applying colour to it.

I first tried outlining some of the branches with gel pens, but it didn't work well at all. I then used a fine-tipped marker, but wasn't very satisfied either.

I then used a little gouache, and found the results quite uneven - the gel medium would suck in some of it, and repel the paint in other parts, but not necessarily to very good effect. After that dried, I went over it with some wet watercolour pencils, and some oil pastels - much more satisfying.

3. Final result

It's no masterpiece, and not really my own work - but it is a really fun technique, easy to do and with endless possibilities. You don't have to use this particular brand, any acrylic gel medium would probably achieve the same result. I've even read somewhere that acrylic paint would bind to the ink the same way. . Julie (Mrs. Lost Luggage) shows a close-up of one of her works using the glass bead gel made by Golden (this one you can find in any craft store in N. America).

I'm going to try making a painted collage with it next. So, go on, give it a go sometime. I'd love to see you experiment with this technique and show us the results*.

*If you don't have a blog, but still would like to share your work, you can email me your creations and I'll show them here.


My Homework

"At the bar", Digital - ©R.Koleilat, 2007

Since I've started using Photoshop a few months ago, I've been befuddled and intimidated by a lot of the more advanced features - like layer masks. I never understood how this worked until Sue O'Kieffe very generously demonstrated how easy it is (once you know what you're doing that is). I really couldn't believe I would ever use this layer mask feature before I read her clear, complete and straight-forward post.

This is what my first application of Sue's Photoshop tutorial. I used these two images (the original photograph is from wetcanvas), and followed clear Sue's step-by-step. I even used all the tricks she talks about (X and B and [ ] *).

All through this exercise, I used different brushes and the airbrush tool, changing the opacity and the pressure of the brushes, until I liked it the final effect.

I then flattened all the layers, and applied a few more artistic filters. Easy peasy.

Try it and see for yourself.

*don't know what I'm talking about? Go read Sue's post about it.

(Texte français suivra bientôt)


Joining In the Fun

La Baigneuse - © Jin, 2007

Untitled - © J.Logan, 2007

I haven't updated my links yet, but two of the amazing women I've met through this fired-up artsy-fartsy blogosphere sent me their contributions to the Old Door and Bathing Beauty Workshops. Go check their sites in the meantime, you'll be bowled over like me (Julie hasn't sent anything but I don't want to wait until I update the right-hand column here).

Julie's Land of Lost Luggage - Yes, she's as witty as her blog title
Joy's This Joy of Arts - Brilliant collages and musings
Jin's À propos du sable - An exquisite visual artist, friend of Alfonso Brezmes (need I say more)

J'ai encore beaucoup de détails à finasser dans ce blog, y compris le gros boulot d'ajouter les textes en français et surtout pour rafraìchir mes links. Et trouver mon dictionnaire, héhé...

En attendant, je présente les contributions de deux nouvelles amies dans cette fofolle et fabuleuse communauté d'artistes-en-ligne que nous avons créé ici. L'exquise Jin a créé cette superbe baigneuse pour l' atelier digital de Bathing Beauty, et Joy cette porte ludique pour l'atelier Old Pisa Door. Julie n'a rien envoy&e;, mais elle est craquante dans son blog et son art.


Create Your Own

Your own Photoshop brush or pattern, that is. It is all very easy, and to make it even easier, I'm including a pictorial to go with this very small step-by-step tutorial.

1. I painted this pattern, using different colours for the background and foreground.

When you define a brush, Photoshop will only use the shape of the brush you're creating, but will reproduce the pattern in its original colour.

2. I then chose Define Brush from Edit to create my new brush.

3.You will find your newly defined brush (and pattern) at the end of your existing list of brushes or patterns

4. You can see how, when used as a brush, the shape of your brush will appear in the colour (s) you've chosen

5. Using the same design, I also created a fill pattern by clicking on Define Pattern in Edit.

6. When you use this new pattern, it will be appear as in the original design.

See? Told ya it was simple.

Hanging Art

Thanks, everyone for patiently waiting to see our Great Wall of Bathing Beauties - there's some really cool work that's been done. What imagination, people - you amaze me!

Here's my bleary-eyed contribution:

Cameo, Digital - ©R. Koleilat, 2007

Comic Book, Digital - ©R. Koleilat, 2007